Sunday, February 6, 2011

Chinese New Year - Third Day - Day of the Poor Ghosts

The third day of the Chinese New Year is also the Day of the Poor Ghosts - poor in this case being lack of money! This is the day,we also clean up the house and then dumped the rubbish.


Well, there was a woman whose second husband was a very rich man. The first husband was a gambler and ne'er do well.

One New Year, on the first day, her ex-husband came begging at her home. She recognized him but he was not aware of his ex-wife. So she asked him to wait and then went into her house to make Chinese dumpling. Into each dumpling, she hid a silver ingot. With some thirty or so of the dumplings, the husband would be able to lead a good life. She passed the dumplings to her ex-husband and reminded him to eat the dumplings while still hot.

He left with the dumplings but instead of eating them decided to sell them to get cash. When one guy bought one dumpling from him for two cents and bit into it, he found the silver ingot. The customer realised that there must be more to it than just plain dumpling and decided to buy the whole lot from the vendor for one silver ingot.

On the third day of the New Year, the woman again saw her ex-husband begging or food at her house. She wondered what happened and asked him into the kitchen. On hearing his story, she was so enraged, she took up the fire poker and hit him on the head, accidentally killed him. To hide the deed, she decided to clean up the house and throw the corpse out with the rubbish.

Hence, that day is now known as the Day of the Poor Ghosts. Not a day for visiting as the visitors are known as Poor Ghosts and, anyway, everyone is supposed to be cleaning up and clearing out the rubbish :-)

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